Lot 345
  • 345

Jacques des Rousseaux

50,000 - 70,000 GBP
197,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Jacques des Rousseaux
  • Portrait of a man, head and shoulders, wearing a blue velvet cap and gold chain
  • signed with monogram and dated centre right: JR i635
  • oil on oak panel
  • 51 by 39.8 cm.; 20 1/8  by 15 5/8  in.


Johanna Ghys (widow of Pieter Anthony Bonenfant), Zoeterwoude;
Her sale, Leiden, Abraham Delfos, 19 April 1775, lot 1 (as Rembrandt);
With Martin H. Colnaghi, London (as Rembrandt);
Rodman Wanamaker, Philadephia (as Rembrandt);
With Charles Sedelmeyer, Paris, 1911, no. 26 (as Rembrandt);
E. Fischoff collection, Paris (his wax seal on the reverse);
Henry & Emma Budge, Hamburg (as Rembrandt);
Sale, Berlin, Graupe, Die Sammlung Emma Budge, 4 October 1937, lot 7 (as Jacques des Rousseaux), purchased by Schulz for 13,000 RM;
With Newhouse Galleries, Inc., New York;
Purchased from the above by the Kimbell Art Foundation, Fort Worth in 1951 (as Rembrandt);
Restituted by the above to the Emma Budge Estate in 2014.


Hamburg, Kunsthalle, Leihausstellung aus Hamburgischem Privatbesitz, May 1925, no. 272, reproduced in the catalogue (as Rembrandt).


W. Bode and C. Hofstede de Groot, Rembrandt, 8 vols., Paris 1897-1905, p. 98, cat. no. 568, reproduced (as Rembrandt);
W.R. Valentiner, Rembrandt. Des Meisters Gemälde, Stuttgart/Leipzig 1908, pp. 210, cat. no. 555, reproduced (as Rembrandt);
Illustrated Catalogue of the Eleventh Series of 100 Paintings by Old Masters... being a portion of the Sedelmeyer Gallery, Paris 1911, p. 32, cat. no. 26, reproduced (as Rembrandt);
M.D. Henkel, Kunstchronik, 1915, vol. XXVI, column 379;
C. Hofstede de Groot, Werkverzeichnisse Rembrandt u. N. Maes. Beschreibendes und kritisches verzeichnis der Werke des hervorragendsten holländischen Maler des XVII. Jahrhunderts, vol. VI, Esslingen/Paris 1915, p. 184, cat. no. 386 (as Rembrandt);
H. Tietze, 'Ein neuer Rembrandtschüler: Jacques des Rousseau', in Kunstchronik, XXX, 1918/19, p. 560, u. Valentiner 1921, p. 125 (as Jacques des Rousseaux);
A. Bredius, Verslagen en Mededeelingen d. K. Akad. v. Wetenschappen, Afd. Letterkunde, 1919, p. 28 (as Jacques des Rousseaux);
W.R. Valentiner, Wiedergefundene Gemälde (Klassiker der Kunst), vol. 27, 1921, p. 125, reproduced plate 2 (as Jacques des Rousseaux);
A. Bredius, 'Le peintre Jacques des Rousseaux', in Gazette des Beaux-Arts, vol. LXIV, 1922, p. 1, reproduced p. 5 (as Jacques des Rousseaux and a 'self-portrait');
G. Pauli, 'Leihausstellung in der Kunsthalle zu Hamburg', in Cicerone, 1925, vol. 17, p. 578 (as Rembrandt);
H. Gerson, in U. Thieme and F. Becker, Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Kunstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart, vol. XXIX, 1935, p. 113 (as Jacques des Rousseax and a 'self-portrait');
W. Sumowski, Gemälde der Rembrandt-Schuler, vol. IV, Landau/Pfalz 1983, p. 2507, cat. no. 1685, reproduced p. 2521 (as Jacques des Rousseaux).

Catalogue Note

Little is known of the life of Jacques de Rousseaux but that he was an artist active in Leiden during the 1630s. His career was brief; he is believed to have been born in Tourcoing around 1600, his dated paintings were executed between 1630 and 1636 and he died in March 1638. During these short years Rousseaux is thought to have spent some time under Rembrandt’s tutelage around 1628, and like his fellow pupils such as Gerrit Dou, Ferdinand Bol and Isaak de Jouderville, he learnt to almost perfectly repeat his masters character heads, called tronies, and came so close in reproducing Rembrandt’s tonality, chromatics, and his sitter’s meditative moods that modern scholarship continually faces the difficult task of separating the works of Rembrandt from those of his skilled pupils.  Indeed, it was only in the early 20th century that this Portrait of a Man was re-attributed to Rousseaux, having been considered a work by Rembrandt until the publication of Hans Tietze’s article in 1919 (see Literature).  It is true also of the opposite, that works traditionally called Rousseaux have been reattributed to Rembrandt, such as the Man with Turban, now in a private collection.1

Jacques de Rousseaux’s oeuvre consists of only a handful of paintings which are predominantly depictions of single figures, bust-length, atmospherically lit with a painterly and detailed surface.  Alongside the influence of Rembrandt, one can see also the impact of Leiden’s great master, Jan Lievens, in the careful and precise rendering of the skin around the eyes of this sitter, in the fine lines of the bristles of his beard, and in the creases in the skin of his brow caused by his quizzical expression.  Sumowski dates this painting to around 1635 on similarities with a group of other tronies of that date that share a smoother, less thickly-applied paint surface.2

1. See E. van de Wetering, Rembandt’s Paintings Revisited, Dordrecht 2015, p. 490, cat. no. 21, reproduced p. 87.
2. W. Sumowski, Gemälde der Rembrandt-Schuler, vol. IV, Landau/Pfalz 1983, p. 2501.